Anorexia Help! Watch

Jade....
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Hi, I have been told by family and friends that I have Anorexia. This time last year, I was overweight at 11.7 stone (28.8 BMI) and now I am 7.4 stone (17.6 BMI) and 162cm. Most of the weight was lost in the first three months by eating less than 500 calories per day. Every time I eat I feel so guilty and I feel like I don't deserve food as I'm too fat.

Yesterday my parents made me eat at a restaurant with then and I had a whole pizza!!! As soon as I got home I looked up the calories and it was 1040!! I feel really guilty now and I wish I had the courage to have thrown it up. Now, because I ate that yesterday I am not having breakfast or lunch today, and I will only eat a low calorie (Around 200) ready meal for dinner because my parents will make me. I really want to be normal and be able to enjoy food again, but every time I eat I feel guilty and get really bloated. I also feel cold and hungry all the time. Last week my mum took me to a Chinese buffet and because I wanted to recover, I ate the same amount as her. Now I fell like I binged and because of that I will get fat and no one will like me. Plus that day I had agonising stomach pains and threw up (naturally, not self induced). Every time I eat I feel like I am binging and wasting all my effort. I used to love sweets, now I never allow myself any treats.

Does anyone know how to self recover from anorexia? I heard that you are meant to eat over 3000 calories a day, but to me that seems like binging and then surely I will become obese?! Also if I ate sweets everyday surely everyone would see me as a pig as no one else in my house eats junk food daily?!
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SophieSmall
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(Original post by Lemon Sprinkles)
Hi, I have been told by family and friends that I have Anorexia. This time last year, I was overweight at 11.7 stone (28.8 BMI) and now I am 7.4 stone (18.3 BMI) and 159cm. Most of the weight was lost in the first three months by eating less than 500 calories per day. Every time I eat I feel so guilty and I feel like I don't deserve food as I'm too fat.

Yesterday my parents made me eat at a restaurant with then and I had a whole pizza!!! As soon as I got home I looked up the calories and it was 1040!! I feel really guilty now and I wish I had the courage to have thrown it up. Now, because I ate that yesterday I am not having breakfast or lunch today, and I will only eat a low calorie (Around 200) ready meal for dinner because my parents will make me. I really want to be normal and be able to enjoy food again, but every time I eat I feel guilty and get really bloated. I also feel cold and hungry all the time. Last week my mum took me to a Chinese buffet and because I wanted to recover, I ate the same amount as her. Now I fell like I binged and because of that I will get fat and no one will like me. Plus that day I had agonising stomach pains and threw up (naturally, not self induced). Every time I eat I feel like I am binging and wasting all my effort. I used to love sweets, now I never allow myself any treats.

Because my BMI is only 18.3, I am seen as too fat to receive help from the NHS for anorexia. Does anyone know how to self recover from anorexia? I heard that you are meant to eat over 3000 calories a day, but to me that seems like binging and then surely I will become obese?! Also if I ate sweets everyday surely everyone would see me as a pig as no one else in my house eats junk food daily?!

Hey, first of all I just want to make it clear that your family and friends simply CANNOT diagnose you with anorexia as they are not health care professionals and anorexia is one of many eating disorders. I would like to point out however it is clear you have some form of eating disorder and I would recommend you speak to your GP about it and try to see if you can get some specialist help.

I want to let you know that I completely understand, this is a scary experience and it is so easy to become consumed by this. I have been there myself I had very similar habits to yourself, I rarely ate over 500 calories a day, I had starve days and I would also sometimes purge as well as compulsive exercise. I had what is referred to as EDNOS which stands for Eating Disorder not Otherwise Specified, it is basically when you share characteristics of several eating disorders.

I also want to say DO NOT take random advice of people on the internet telling you how many calories YOU should eat to make you recover, it is not as simple as that, for starters everyone is different and will have slightly different recommended calories intakes. For starters you are a female and so you (unless you do mass amounts of exercise) would not need to eat 3000 calories a day that is far too much. But also because the main thing you need to work on is NOT your body, it is your mind. Recovery for people like us is not about how much we weight it's about our relationship with food and our relationship with accepting eating and our bodies and any other stresses in our lives that have contributed to our disordered eating.
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hannahjune
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Hello, I'm by no means an expert but I (think) I know a few pointers that may help.... the minimum amount of calories a person should have in a day to be losing weight is about 1200, but this should be increased to maintain weight, any lower then the body will be more than likely deprived of the nourishment it needs. I understand that you want to maintain a healthy and slim body shape, which is possible to do whilst eating a healthy balanced diet, but you also need to think about what your body needs. I definitely think you need to see your GP and try to get an appointment with a Dietitian as they will know how to help, my advice though would to be, if possible, make sure what you're eating is nourishing food, ie. eat plenty of fruit and vegetables, make sure you're also having protein in your diet and wholegrain carbohydrates. Just try to remember that not only do you deserve to eat, you need to eat to survive, don't beat yourself up or feel guilty for eating. As I've said, I am no expert and although from what you've said I think it sounds like you might possibly be showing signs of an eating disorder, only a doctor can diagnose if you do have an eating disorder, such as anorexia. Please seek a professionals help, I know eating disorders are extremely complex and difficult to overcome, and you mightn't have an eating disorder but if you do, I would say it's better to find out to be able to overcome the problem sooner than later. Hope this has helped, no worries if it hasn't
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Liv1204
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It is really, really difficult to self-recover from an eating disorder, so first recommendation would be to see your GP. With a BMI of 18.3 you are certainly not 'too fat' to receive help, and although some services do have a BMI criteria (and this is a serious failure in the availability of services in those areas, not a sign that somebody is 'too fat'), there are things that they can offer, whether that is general counselling, CBT, etc.

Eating 500 calories per day is not enough to sustain you, and feeling like you don't deserve food is concerning, so you really do need to get some support.

1040 calories from a pizza is also not 'binging', and throwing it up would not have helped, purging can result in serious health problems. Even if you feel that way, do try to eat a reasonable amount the next day. Restricting following a perceived 'binge' is also a form of purging, and in the long run, restricting like that can actually result in a binge, because your body needs food.

Some things that might be worth considering to help yourself in recovery are:

* Try to add small increases, don't jump too much too soon. Some people do require over 3,000 calories a day, others don't. I spent 5 months inpatient, and my highest was 2,700 to gain, and now a healthy maintenance of 2,000 (+ extra if sport). During inpatient treatment we based our nutritional needs on BMR and TDEE, so that might be worth looking up for you - and I believe adding 500 onto it for weight gain, which you currently need.

* Planning meals can help. Ideally that should include 3 meals and 3 snacks, and planning in advance can feel safer because you know what to expect, and it is there in front of you

* Eat regularly, don't leave long gaps between eating.

* A third, a third, a third is a good way of working out meals - one third of the plate as fruit/veg, one third protein, and one third carbohydrates

* There is no such thing as 'deserving' to eat. It is a scientific fact, humans need to eat, and it is ok to eat. You need to do it

Look after yourself, and do try to get some professional support. x
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hhattiecc
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Anorexia is not about weight, it is purely mental with physical side effects. If you are feeling the need to purge and restrict, feel you do not deserve/should not eat, and are getting scared by food, then you need to go to a doctor because these aren't healthy thoughts.

The doctor can refer you to a clinic or some sort, but there are also (quite expensive) private options. The NHS should not say your BMI is too high to receive treatment because a) it's not, at this BMI I was still at the beginning stages of my refeeding programme b) they're not idiots and realise that with eating disorder patients there are a million other health problems aside from weight that are as a result of the disorder c) they prioritise by health (or so I got told. I think it's like if you're suicidal, have had heart problems, if you've lost your period) NOT by weight. My Mum rang up the clinic many times a day until they agreed to see me. Push it.

You will need to be completely honest with your family. It's very hard to distinguish between anorexic motives and your 'true' motives. Eating disorders will justify every single self-destructive move they have in store for you. If you feel a true sense of desperation to conceal something from your parents, then straight up tell them what you're hiding from them, because that sense of desperation is coming from an eating disorder.
Don't let yourself do it alone. If I had any advice that would be it. Surround yourself with people who love you, be completely honest, and every day they will begin to understand more. At first my Mum thought she understood but in reality knew NOTHING, but now she knows when I'm struggling just by my body language and we sit and talk it through, and afterwards I always feel a little better. The best way to conquer this is with a huge support system under your wing, people to tell you that certain behaviours are irrational, people to tell you that actually, eating a 1000 calorie pizza is bloody marvellous and is absolutely nothing to be ashamed of.

The thing I did which no one else was involved in was created a tumblr recovery account. These can be SO triggering if you follow the wrong people, but I really believed my tumblr account saved my life.
There are AMAZING people on there, they send you lovely messages of support and love when you need it, and the best thing I found was that food actually became normalised! I talked to people from all over the world about the foods we eat and how much we love them, some of them eat up to 4000 calories a day to recover (quite a few ate a pint of Ben and Jerry's every day to make up the numbers) and they share pictures, it's really comforting. I rekindled a love of food from tumblr, it helped me so so much!

In terms of what you should be eating etc, a professional should really be seen here. For me, I didn't count calories or whatever, and I felt I was eating loads, but then my Mum counted one day and it wasn't as much as we thought. For my recovery I had AT LEAST 2500, usually nearer to 3000. Don't worry about what you'll do once you reach a better weight, it'll naturally take care of itself and once your body has been refed (ie is healthy) then everything will start to normalise.

You're gonna have to be brave, and it's not going to be easy, but there is so much life in you yet and it's not worth spending it on an eating disorder. 500 calories a day is slowly killing you. You are worth recovery and I promise you it is the BEST choice. I've actually come through better than before I went in!! I'm so much more confident now, I have better social skills, I'm more optimistic, really enjoy food, eat a lot, value life more, and yeah I still struggle at times but I am in control of my life now, not my eating disorder, and that's amazing feeling. Good luck, you can do this
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Jade....
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Thank you all for your kind words. I decided to go to the doctors, and it turns out I'm 4cm taller than I originally though, which puts my BMI at 17.6. Due to this, my doctor is referring me to CAMHS, and would like me to go back and be weighed in three weeks, since she believes I am suffering from anorexia. I'm feel a lot more scared now because I'm not sure what to expect at CAMHS, but I guess I will just have to wait and see x
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XxSophie01xX
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(Original post by hhattiecc)
Anorexia is not about weight, it is purely mental with physical side effects. If you are feeling the need to purge and restrict, feel you do not deserve/should not eat, and are getting scared by food, then you need to go to a doctor because these aren't healthy thoughts.

The doctor can refer you to a clinic or some sort, but there are also (quite expensive) private options. The NHS should not say your BMI is too high to receive treatment because a) it's not, at this BMI I was still at the beginning stages of my refeeding programme b) they're not idiots and realise that with eating disorder patients there are a million other health problems aside from weight that are as a result of the disorder c) they prioritise by health (or so I got told. I think it's like if you're suicidal, have had heart problems, if you've lost your period) NOT by weight. My Mum rang up the clinic many times a day until they agreed to see me. Push it.

You will need to be completely honest with your family. It's very hard to distinguish between anorexic motives and your 'true' motives. Eating disorders will justify every single self-destructive move they have in store for you. If you feel a true sense of desperation to conceal something from your parents, then straight up tell them what you're hiding from them, because that sense of desperation is coming from an eating disorder.
Don't let yourself do it alone. If I had any advice that would be it. Surround yourself with people who love you, be completely honest, and every day they will begin to understand more. At first my Mum thought she understood but in reality knew NOTHING, but now she knows when I'm struggling just by my body language and we sit and talk it through, and afterwards I always feel a little better. The best way to conquer this is with a huge support system under your wing, people to tell you that certain behaviours are irrational, people to tell you that actually, eating a 1000 calorie pizza is bloody marvellous and is absolutely nothing to be ashamed of.

The thing I did which no one else was involved in was created a tumblr recovery account. These can be SO triggering if you follow the wrong people, but I really believed my tumblr account saved my life.
There are AMAZING people on there, they send you lovely messages of support and love when you need it, and the best thing I found was that food actually became normalised! I talked to people from all over the world about the foods we eat and how much we love them, some of them eat up to 4000 calories a day to recover (quite a few ate a pint of Ben and Jerry's every day to make up the numbers) and they share pictures, it's really comforting. I rekindled a love of food from tumblr, it helped me so so much!

In terms of what you should be eating etc, a professional should really be seen here. For me, I didn't count calories or whatever, and I felt I was eating loads, but then my Mum counted one day and it wasn't as much as we thought. For my recovery I had AT LEAST 2500, usually nearer to 3000. Don't worry about what you'll do once you reach a better weight, it'll naturally take care of itself and once your body has been refed (ie is healthy) then everything will start to normalise.

You're gonna have to be brave, and it's not going to be easy, but there is so much life in you yet and it's not worth spending it on an eating disorder. 500 calories a day is slowly killing you. You are worth recovery and I promise you it is the BEST choice. I've actually come through better than before I went in!! I'm so much more confident now, I have better social skills, I'm more optimistic, really enjoy food, eat a lot, value life more, and yeah I still struggle at times but I am in control of my life now, not my eating disorder, and that's amazing feeling. Good luck, you can do this
What an inspiration you are
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Jade....
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Hi, I just want to thank everyone again for their messages. It has been 7 months since I first posted this thread and since then I have been getting help by the NHS for Anorexia. I have since managed to raise my weight back up to a healthy BMI (I am not allowed to know the actual weight) and although I am still struggling with managing to eat the right amount of calories and to ignore the unhelpful thoughts, I would like to think I have come a long way since I first wrote this post. My body is so much more alive and I am now able to do so much more, which Anorexia had taken away from me before. Thank you all for your motivation xxxx
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SophieSmall
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(Original post by Lemon Sprinkles)
Hi, I just want to thank everyone again for their messages. It has been 7 months since I first posted this thread and since then I have been getting help by the NHS for Anorexia. I have since managed to raise my weight back up to a healthy BMI (I am not allowed to know the actual weight) and although I am still struggling with managing to eat the right amount of calories and to ignore the unhelpful thoughts, I would like to think I have come a long way since I first wrote this post. My body is so much more alive and I am now able to do so much more, which Anorexia had taken away from me before. Thank you all for your motivation xxxx
We're all rooting for you
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